Young Entrepreneurs Take Front Seat Navigating Road to Success

How they stay motivated, keep the gears moving

Innovative Event Concepts

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Brandon Haynes developed the courage and perseverance to start his own business after being homeless.

A battle with the Maryland school system helped Brandon Haynes develop the courage and perseverance to start his own business. After being evicted from his Maryland home in 2001, Haynes along with his mother and four brothers were forced to seek shelter with relatives in Washington D.C. But when the family couldn’t provide proof of residency for either school district, a federal court battle ensued, forcing Haynes to miss most of his junior year of high school.

After months of fighting, Haynes was allowed back in his Maryland school where he was forced to play a tough game of catch up. And it was while taking an entrepreneurship class his senior year that Haynes developed the idea for his event planning company.

“I always had a passion for planning events,” says the 24-year-old. “When I was six-years-old I lived at the bottom of a big hill and I wanted to plan a soap derby.” Now, Haynes plans proms and sporting events, and has even parlayed his entrepreneurial endeavors and disadvantaged past into speaking gigs.

Between event planning and public speaking he expects to close out the year with $30,000 in revenue. He charges $1,000 to $2,000 per speaking engagement and commands 15% of the total budget for events he plans.

While he specializes in sporting affairs, Haynes will plan almost any event, with weddings being the only exception.  “I want to have a replica of the NBA All Star Weekend here in DC,” he says. “I’d like to have a large community event.”

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